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Sonorous Voyages - Take One!

Updated: May 17


a close-up picture of Irene holding a singing bowl

What is a sound bath? 


A Sound Bath is an immersive, full body listening experience where the practitioner intentionally uses sound to invite gentle yet powerful therapeutic and restorative processes to nurture your mind and body. Over time it becomes a meditative practice where you listen to sounds produced by instruments such as singing bowls, chimes, and flutes. The goal is to promote relaxation, reduce stress and enhance well-being.


Let’s look at the bigger picture: What happens before, after and possibly during the sound bath can be unpredictable or even chaotic for both the practitioner/performer and the listeners. It is what the sound bath practice teaches us that is most profound in the long run. 


Since completing two levels of Sound Healing training with Dr. Shelley Snow, I am now offering sound baths as a part of my services. I am coming to perceive it as an ever evolving practice of music, mental focus and awareness of self and others. 


More recently, I have been experimenting with my looper to create a rich ambient atmosphere. It turned into a magical experience of dreamstate and imagery. Excited to share my new discoveries, I announced a series of live streamed sound bath performances called “Sonorous Voyages”. May 15 was scheduled for part 1, an improvised sound bath.


In preparation, I recorded and videoed myself, through observational learning I smoothed out the performance, the transitions in particular. Little did I first realize everything beyond the musical practice! I carefully set up a space, found the right camera angle, learned how to get permission to live stream on YouTube which involved a call out to all my Facebook friends to subscribe, I experimented with microphones and recording, found clothing that would not make rustling sounds and mic stands that wouldn’t slip, I placed my chair so the floor would not squeak when I moved, cleared up my room to create a beautiful set, rehearsed, did tests with my VA Mel, and made adjustments. As the date drew nearer, I felt nervous and confident …but then my laptop kept going to sleep mode, and once it shut down, the camera wouldn’t work, the internet was spotty, the sound was awful …it all started falling apart in the final day and hours… Do I cancel? No! I keep my promises and show up. Taking Mel’s advice, I took a deep breath, moved all the instruments and equipment to my teaching studio, and pre-recorded a live performance which I later posted on YouTube. I played on the edge of chaos, and remained calm. 





My sound healing journey began in 2009 when I started practicing yoga. The classes I went to featured powerfully peaceful music. I was immediately drawn to that music and my playlists featured artists like Shastro, GuruGanesha Singh, Deva Premal, Eluvium, and Snatam Kaur. I would play this music at home to soothe my soul. When I joined Music for People in 2013, I was introduced to many beautiful healing instruments by Ron Kravitz, Lynn Miller and Julie & Alvin Harris. Like everyone who joins Music for People, I started acquiring instruments to improvise with such the shruti box, Native American style flutes, RAV VAST, singing bowls, hand drums, and chimes. 


As my love for soothing music became deeper I started learning about psychoacoustics and sound healing. During the pandemic, I played for myself and my mother. It calmed us. 


Mindfulness Through Music

Learning the art of improvisation at Music for People brought together several things I love dearly: singing/playing music, wellness, personal growth, and  mindfulness practices including meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. In my improvisation practice, I learned to shut down my thinking brain, embrace silence, and play with intention. Every single quality sound requires presence. Playing slow and quiet music can be especially challenging if I’m feeling wound up, but as I drop into the process, I benefit from its powerfully calming effect. 


Musicianship and sensitivity intertwine. The mind, body and heart must work together, and all too often we remain disconnected from our bodies, how we move within and interact with our surroundings. A few years ago I saw Mizu no Eki (The Water Station) performed by the Theater Department at Concordia University, and I can’t help but relate this to the gestures and movements required to perform a Sound Bath:


Mizu no eki (The Water Station) is a silent play devised by celebrated Japanese dramaturg/director, Ōta Shōgo. In his company, Tenkei Gekijō, (Theatre of Transformation, 1968-1988) Shōgo developed an artistic aesthetic he called the Theatre of Divestiture which explores emptiness of space, silence and slowness. His focus on “being” instead of “doing” highlights human fragility and an existentialist human perspective. In the play, eighteen travelers make separate stops at a water fountain and continue their way. The play speaks about displacement, loneliness, and the desire for connection. Premiering in 1981, “The Water Station” played more than 200 times in 24 cities around the world. (https://www.concordia.ca/faculty/peter-farbridge.html)


Like in the practice of Tai Chi, slowing down our movements is a very enlightening experience. Mental and physical tension, restlessness, discomfort and the need for distraction become blatantly obvious but the more I practice, and let go of those needs, the better I feel. I am working on putting this into practice in my daily life, and some days are really challenging. I ask myself: why am I rushing? 


Each sound bath I play is a chance to practice mindfulness.  



The power of intention: 

In improvisation as in life, we must be responsible for the vibrations we send one another. (David Darling - Bill of Musical Rights)


When I play with the mindset of being in service to others, my state changes from one of worry to one of caring and presence. No matter what may be falling apart around me, I have to be unflappable. My appreciation of those who perform at every single level continues to grow. Performing for others is a humbling experience. Allowing music to channel through me is a form of surrender, a letting go of the self and dissolving into a part of a larger whole that is so much greater. Through the example of my mentor Mary Knysh, I am learning the importance of following through no matter what, especially when it comes to serving with love. 


If you want to experience the first of 5 “Sonorous Voyages” go to:







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